Gifted Education 101: Expert advice for the aspiring young author
August 10, 11:58 AM NY Gifted Education Examiner Alina Adams
From the Article, and I am copying and pasting for your enjoyment, bolding text for mine.
"And now, a final, FINAL thought. Getting published. Publishers are always looking for good new work. So make sure your book is as original and well done as you can make it, then look up the names of editors at your favorite publishers, and send them a short, well-written cover letter, describing the book, along with a couple of chapters. (Don’t forget to make sure your manuscript is double-spaced). Another way to get published is to get an agent (an agent is someone who shops your book to publishers for you). There are also reference books that list every children’s agent in the country. Write them polite query letters, describing your book. Again, include a couple of chapters. If you’ve spent all your time writing and loving your book, you might just be surprised at the positive response you get!
(Editor’s Note: The Gifted Education Examiner strongly discourages authors of any age from taking the self-publishing route. This is not considered a genuine credit in the publishing [word] and will work against the author’s selling a future project to a legitimate publisher. Any time an author is asked for money from their publisher, they cannot be considered legitimate. If you are asked for money, you are simply getting your book printed, not published and certainly not professionally edited. This is fine if you simply want a few copies to give out to family and friends, but not if you would like to be considered an author." Read the rest of this stimulating article Here.
This is the advice being given to young authors. Yup, publishers love those unsolicited manuscripts, and agents are always up for sample chapters they didn't request, not to mention that infamous "black list" you will wind up on if you self-publish a word ever in your life -- Oh wait, isn't blogging a form of self-publishing? Guess kids can't blog either then. Maybe that's a loophole, I don't know, not to mention I have read self-published books that were edited far better than this article. Nice typo.
Or is this advice meant to be some kind of a tough love thing? You know, get them used to rejection young, stifle them whilst they are still impressionable. Let's fill their heads with fire and brimstone old testament type diatribe. I just think if we are gonna give kids advice on publishing, let's give them all the facts and teach them the proper way to query and submit partials. And for Pete's sake, I can't see how a Lulu book you did when you were a teenager or even one you did as an adult is going to ruin your writing career . A few self-published words might give you hairy palms and make you insane, but I am not convinced it will damn your soul, certainly not in the eyes of a "legitimate publisher" anyway. You might not be able to sell that book, the one you self-published, but it won't hurt your chances for future work, especially if you have a book that meets what the market wants at the moment. Actually, I gotta say, "Good for the kid who has the guts to go to it and self-publish their book." To me it shows determination and courage and most of all: vision. Dawson Vosburg comes to mind. His tenacity will probably get him published some day. And think of all the things he has learned along the way.
But don't worry you parents of the "gifted" young writers. The evil Indie publishing world will not try to seduce your child, corrupt their grammatical morals, or doom them to a hellish dank hole of a basement library with leaky walls and rows and rows of books with the Lulu logo on the spines. Most of us know the shit out of our Lit theory, we have read and studied the classics, and don't breathe a word of it, but a lot of Self-published authors actually have MFAs. Shocking. I know.
There is a lot of good advice in the article, so it's a shame really that it had to end with the typical Trad vs. Indie propaganda dreck. Haven't we all seen enough of this ridiculousness. Here is some advice worth its weight: If you want to be a writer, stay in school and learn how to friggin' write. Live and love your Lit theory. If you want to be a mainstream published author, stay in school and learn how to friggin' write and edit and revise and address criticism and query properly, then research all your options thoroughly. Funny, it's all the same for Self-published authors as well, except trade the query process for marketing. So in the end, it's all about education as much as it is talent and hard work. Many a gifted author of old got rejected, so you can't skimp on the work no matter which path you choose. Self-publishing probably won't bring you fame and fortune -- the odds are against it. It might not be a genuine "credit" but that doesn't mean the experience isn't worth having, provided you are having it for the right reasons. This holds true for the Traditional Publishing process as well, unless rejection is considered "credit" towards paying your dues.
I think what it all boils down to here is that we should be fostering creativity and experimentation not breeding contempt. Sometimes holding an actual book in one's hand is just the sort of satisfaction that motivates an author, especially a child author, to press onward through the process. Becoming a published author is a daunting oftentimes humiliating process. Self-published or Trad Published, it takes an insane amount of determination, skill, and hard work. It takes a level of commitment most people don't have the stamina for. That little something tangible -- a printed book -- can be the inspiration that keeps a dream alive in the face of adversity. It keeps the artist loving the art even if the process is painful.
Cheryl Anne Gardner